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This is an archive collection of entries from  my main personal blog, My Mundane Mid-Life.

This collection of entries is from February 2007.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Vanishing bees

I know that, on the surface, this may not seem disastrous - Honey Bees Vanish, Leaving Keepers In Peril

They're calling it "Colony Collapse Disorder" With CCD, most adult honeybees abandon a hive and disappear, abandoning the queen and a remnant of younger bees. It is causing agricultural honeybees nationwide to abandon their hives and disappear.

They just... disappear. No bodies to autopsy to figure it all out. It's happening in at least 22 states..

So what? A third of our diet and billions of dollars in the agricultural economy relies on honeybee pollination. No bees, no fruits, nuts, vegetables...

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years left to live." - Albert Einstein
posted at 08:19 AM | Link | Mundane | |

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

There was an election?

Somehow, I lost sight of the fact that there was an election today. Maybe it was because it was local, and we were BOMBARDED by political ads. The only ads I saw were for the mayoral election in Chicago (Dailey won by 71% for a 6th term). Our own village had elections, too tat I somehow didn't know about ... so.. I guess I didn't vote.

For me, that is what an election should be... quiet.

Now, If I could just get this GM President's Day sale with the "Hail to the Chief" music off the damn TV, I'll be soooooo much happier

posted at 10:43 PM | Link | Mundane | |

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oscar Night

Well, the weather wasn't as treacherous as yesterday, but it still wasn't good. We traveled into the city to go to B&B's for our annual Oscar party.

OK, I have to admit.. I love the preshow... commenting on the dresses (not much variation in the guys' clothes, so there wasn't much to comment on there) Most of the commenting and the yelling we were doing was because of Jennifer Hudson's silver mini-jacket over her brown dress... and oh, why do they make pockets in gowns? She had her hands in her pockets!

I loved the show this year - Ellen DeGeneres did a GREAT job... the show never bogged down... it flowed but it was STIILL TOO FRIGGIN' LONG...

posted at 11:53 PM | Link | Entertainment | |

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Wolves 0 - Knights 2

Chicago Wolves Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights

read more of this entry


posted at 10:50 PM | Link | Wolves | |
Crazy Astronauts - how to restrain them

I have this feeling that the recent... umm... crazy astronaut events, had the press digging through NASA documents and making FOI (Freedom Of Information) requests to fins out what are the procedures if an astronaut goes a little "nutty" during a mission? - NASA plan for unstable astronauts: Duct tape, tranquilizers

posted at 03:03 PM | Link | Space | |

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

woot! Break out the spring jackets!

42F yesterday... BALMY... before yesterday, we had 24 days under freezing... this feels so good.. I mean, it's STILL cold, but... I guess it's all relative.

But... I have been to White Sox games when the temperature was worse than 42F... again... it's ALL relative...

posted at 11:18 AM | Link | Mundane | |

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Double-Edge Sword

On one hand, the drive to work was great - nobody was on the road.

On the other hand, it's a holiday - President's Day. Carol is off work, I am not.

I think I'd rather have the day off...

posted at 08:29 AM | Link | Mundane | |

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow

It started Monday night and had been snowing all day. Final total at O'Hare: 8.6". This was a pretty big deal, disruptions everywhere. The travel to and from work yesterday was a mess... almost 3 times the length of a normal commute. I heard on the radio yesterday that the commute on I-290 from downtown to basically next to my office was 2 hours and 30 minutes. And, although they had all night to work it, the commute this morning was pretty severely impacted, too. It's a cold snow, to, meaning that you can plow, but salting the streets won't work, since the temperatures are in the teens and salt is not effective.

Still... it's still better than upstate New York and the Lake Effect Blizzard that's been going on for over a week.

I still can't imagine having - within the course of a week - snowfall of up to 141", That's almost 12 feet of snow. In one week.

posted at 09:39 AM | Link | Mundane | |

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cars .. cars.. cars.. cars.. oh, and kids

Had a few hours I had to take off this afternoon (comp time for overtime), so I drove downtown to the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. I haven't been to the show in years... and this time was the perfect time to do it - during the week, and during the day... though.. I was there for four hours - four hours of non-stop walking, no sitting, no eating, no drinking. In retrospect, this was a huge mistake. I can't do that anymore... my legs were twitching.. and almost flopping by the time I was trying to make my way back to the car...

Anyway, the day & time meant that the crowds were non-existent. You could walk the floor, look at the cars, sit in them if you'd like, without being jostled by so many people.

Great seeing all the cars... I was pleasantly surprised that you could actually find cars for under $20,000 that I wouldn't mind TOO terribly owning... And, of course... there were cars that I wouldn't mind owning in spite of their price. Oh, and another surprise was how nicely priced some of the hybrids were.

Now, unfortunately, it still wasn't a great experience being at the show for one specific reason -

Maybe it was because it was during the day. Maybe it was because they were free (to get in), but the amount of families with kids was pretty much unbearable. It wasn't that they were there - I am sure that mom & dad were there looking at possibly a new car for the family. The problem was that at a minimum 75% of the parents let their kids run rampant throughout the show floor, frequently having the kids leave the sight of the parents. They were everywhere, running, jumping in front of adults to open a car door, jump in and close the door behind them and sit and screw with the car for 5, 10, even 15 minutes at a time. It was unbearable. A lot of the vehicles have working batteries to be able to show-off their navigation displays, which means the radios are active... so let's see what hip-hop station we can pull in off of FM and how high we can crank the volume... I was at the Inifiniti exhibit, and had a kid almost push me out of the way to climb into the driver's seat of a GX35, only to close the door behind him, and, after some flailing at the switches and flipping the wiper and light stalks on the wheel, proceeded to stand up on the leather seats so that he can get outside the open sunroof, to yell at the rest of his family at the Hummer exhibit. No one stopped this kid, even when the family finally came by. How fed up was I? I was standing next to a Nissan 350Z convertible that I wanted to get in, but I was behind an elderly couple .. a little girl pushed her way ahead of us, climbed in and slammed the door shut. She then proceeded to immediately start playing with the power seats... pushing the seat as far forward as it could go, and then she played with the tilt.. to tilt her face damn near into the steering wheel... I let her, and prayed that she would just crush herself... the elderly couple eventually told to little asswipe that adults want to see the car and she reluctantly left, leaving the seat in the fully extended position, requiring the man to lean in and get the seat fixed before he could sit down... and it was 4 hours of this...

posted at 08:40 PM | Link | Mundane | |

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Wolves 6 - Crunch 2

Chicago Wolves Syracuse Crunch

read more of this entry


posted at 07:50 PM | Link | Wolves | |

Friday, February 09, 2007

Has Global Warming forced us to...

I know we had a GREAT "heat wave" a month or so ago, and we're now going through this HELLACIOUS cold snap, but.. has the fear of Global Warming forced us into action?

Work starts on Arctic seed vault

...within a year the first seeds of what will eventually be home for samples of all 1.5 million distinct varieties of agricultural crops worldwide will be tucked safely inside the vaults deep in a mountain on the archipelago of Svalbard.

There, at the end of a tunnel 120 meters into the side of a mountain, 80 meters above estimated sea levels even if all polar ice melts, and 18 degrees Celsius below freezing, they will stay like a bank security deposit.


The Norwegian government is footing the $5 million construction bill and the Global Crop Diversity Trust is providing the estimated $125,000 a year running costs.

The function of the Arctic Noah's Ark will be to hold samples of all the food crop varieties in case disaster strikes any of the banks -- like the typhoon that wiped out the Philippines agri crop gene bank in October.

The vaults on the remote archipelago 1,500 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle should have been dug and lined with meter-thick concrete by October ready for systems installation and a formal opening early in 2008.

posted at 01:08 PM | Link | Mundane | |

Thursday, February 08, 2007

6 straight days

6 straight days of temperatures under -0F

I know Mother Nature seems to average things out, so this is probably payback for the 37+ days over 32F a month or so ago...

posted at 08:42 AM | Link | Mundane | |

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hey! It Warmed up!

It's only 0F outside! woot! Heat Wave!!!

Of course, it's now snowing... hearing that it's over 2 hours to drive on the Edens from Lake Cook to downtown.

posted at 10:13 AM | Link | Mundane | |
Craziness in the astronaut corps

I woke-up, put on the Today show... and was shocked at the breaking story overnight that led the cast...

So bizarre... so... foreign... what causes someone to do something like this? Especially, a shuttle astronaut????

CNN Stories (Updated)
Astronaut to face attempted murder charge
Astronaut's star appeared to be on rise at NASA
Astronaut flies back to troubled Houston home
NASA wants to know if there are 'lessons to be learned'
No attempted murder charge for astronaut Nowak
NASA chief: We didn't recognize Nowak was troubled
Sexy e-mails shed light on astronaut's bizarre behavior
NASA fires astronaut Nowak

Orlando Sentinel Story - Astronaut charged with attempted murder

I heard that.. and immediately thought about some guy going nuts, 'cause after all... the astronaut corps is mainly men... but, no... not a guy... a woman... Navy Capt. Lisa Marie Nowak - a Mission Specialist on STS-121 (July 4-17, 2006)... you know, a flight that was a return-to-flight test mission and assembly flight to the International Space Station, responsible for operating the remote arm during scheduled EVAs. She's married, with three children

You know... somebody driven, intelligent, skilled... under significant scrutiny to make sure she is physically and mentally fit for spaceflight.

Oh, such a strange tale... more bizarre the more I hear of it...

read more of this entry


posted at 08:17 AM | Link | Mundane | |

Monday, February 05, 2007

Oh, crap... how can today be colder?

Woke up this morning... and we've got new records for the last 11 years...

-9F (or for those from elsewhere in the world: -22C)

Wind chill? Even worse - (there are Wind Chill Warnings out until 1pm today) Current Wind Chill: -30F (-34C)

posted at 06:36 AM | Link | Mundane | |

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The world is frozen

Woke up this morning...

-6F (or for those from elsewhere in the world: -21C)

posted at 07:15 AM | Link | Mundane | |

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Holed-up in the house

Spent the day holed-up in the house... it is officially the coldest day we've had in 11 years. It's bad outside. Nobody went out to get the mail.

We have to make ice for the game tomorrow - and I came up with the idea of taking our extra ice trays, fill them up, and just put them in the garage.

Worked like a champ.

posted at 08:17 PM | Link | Mundane | |

Friday, February 02, 2007

Thank God I have 55 inches at home

I don't believe... or maybe I should believe... that the NFL are such... ummm.... asswipes...

I read today in Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn's column about something that they are doing that just doesn't make any sense to me...

According to an article in The Indianapolis Star, the NFL is screwing with the definition of copyright, forcing places to cancel their Superbowl Parties.

The NFL considers big gatherings -- whether in churches, movie theaters or casinos -- to be a huge no-no if the game is being shown on TV screens bigger than 55 inches wide or if the host charges admission to watch

How could this be?

...the NFL is being quick to point out that federal copyright law bans public exhibitions of NFL games on sets or screens larger than 55 inches.

This is written in the federal copyright law?

Well, thank God for my Sony 55 inch TV at home..


Oh, one more Superbowl item, courtesy of the folks at The Onion - yes, the Bears are awakening the city of Chicago... "Bears Inspire A City Still Reeling From Great Chicago Fire Of 1871"

posted at 01:36 PM | Link | Mundane | |
Early Spring? Way to go, Phil!

Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow this morning, which, according to German folklore, means we can expect an early spring instead of six more weeks of winter.

Since 1886, Phil has seen his shadow 96 times, hasn't seen it 15 times and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

Now wait a minute... was it Phil?... or was it the handlers? Phil talks to the handlers, who transcribe what he says so that it can be proclaimed... hmmmm...

Longtime handler Bill Deeley retired and was replaced Friday by Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle members John Griffiths and Ben Hughes.

Oh wait... from the official FAQ at the official website:

Phil's forecasts are not made in advance by the Inner Circle. After Phil emerges from his burrow on February 2, he speaks to the Groundhog Club president in "Groundhogese"(a language only understood by the current president of the Inner Circle). His proclamation is then translated for the world.

And, in case you wanted to know...

The Germans believed that if a hibernating animal cast a shadow February 2 -- the Christian holiday of Candlemas -- winter would last another six weeks. If no shadow was seen, legend said spring would come early.

And if you really really really wanted to know...

GPS Coordinates
Gobbler's Knob is located at the following coordinates (these readings were taken with a GPS unit placed on the stump on the stage at Gobbler's Knob):

N40.93027 W78.95772 (hddd.ddddd)
N40 55.816 W78 57.463 (hdddmm.mmm')


read more of this entry


posted at 07:34 AM | Link | Mundane | |

Thursday, February 01, 2007

*nose wiggle* *nose wiggle*

It's that time again - you were supposed to say "Rabbit, Rabbit!" as your first words of the day to have good luck! (or, if you blew it, before you go to sleep tonight, you can still try to get some luck, your last words have to be "Tibbar! Tibbar!")...

...not like it's helped me at all, but, that's the legend anyway...

... for other derivatives to this meme, check out the alternatives: "White Rabbit" or Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!.

posted at 06:37 AM | Link | Memes | |

 

That's it for the entries in this particular Archive of my blog. If you want, you can look through other entries by selecting the links in the right-hand column of this page under either Archives by Month or Archives by Category, or you can search the site for specific keywords by using the Search page.

This Blog was last updated Friday December 18, 2009 13:03:12 CDT (-06:00 GMT)
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